Detail as a Thought

architects Andrija Rusan, Siniša Bjelica, Gordan Mehmedović
project Interijer Bank Austria Creditanstalt, Split, Hrvatska
written by Ante Nikša Bilić


The task of architecture is to establish emotional relationships by means of coarse materials.

Le Corbusier


Most houses and grand residences constructed in the first half of the 20th century in Split can be regarded as architecture born out of a dialogue between Italian Rationalism and the Modernism moulded by local genius. What is attributed to Rationalism is, no doubt, the relation of the ground floor to the street and the square. That interaction gave the city its most beautiful cafés and shops in the early thirties. I cannot tell whether the squares are in the cafés and shops or vice versa. The clever solution of making the ground floors nearly twice as tall as normal storeys and to open them to the square or street made this Mediterranean theatricality possible. In some isolated cases, even the belle étage underwent idiosyncratic local modifications. The body of the groundfloor defines the urban character of the building, and its glazed surfaces underline the importance of the interior.